Sidelines with John Clay

College football on television: Huge opening weekend

Alabama running back Damien Harris (34) works through drills during football practice, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Harris, a former star at Madison Southern in Richmond, was Alabama’s top rusher last season. Alabama opens the season Saturday night against Florida State in Tallahassee.
Alabama running back Damien Harris (34) works through drills during football practice, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Harris, a former star at Madison Southern in Richmond, was Alabama’s top rusher last season. Alabama opens the season Saturday night against Florida State in Tallahassee. AL.com/Associated Press

Sometime in the past there may have been more enticing matchups on the first true weekend of a college football season, but you’d have to do a very deep research dive to find one.

To christen the brand-spanking new and spectacular Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, No. 1 Alabama takes on No. 3 Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

And that’s not all.

No. 11 Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh, who just released his fall roster this week, takes on No. 17 Florida in Arlington, Texas. That is if Florida had enough players to make the trip to the Lone Star State. At last count, coach Jim McIlwain had suspended 10 players for the marquee opener.

Defending national champion Clemson begins the post-Deshaun Watson Era with a high noon opener against visiting Clemson on ESPN. Matt Connolly of The State lists five storylines for Clemson in the Tigers’ 2017 opener.

The eyes of Texas will be upon new Longhorns coach Tom Herman, who starts his tenure at noon against Maryland on Fox Sports 1. Maryland’s co-defensive coordinators are a pair of former Mark Stoops’ assistants at Kentucky -- Andy Buh and Jimmy Brumbaugh.

Speaking of Stoops, his brother Bob will be missing from the Oklahoma sideline for the first time since 1998 when the Sooners meet UTEP at 3:30 on Fox. Former offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, all of 33 years, has taken the wheel in Norman.

After nosediving to 4-8 last year, Notre Dame opens what it hopes is a bounce-back campaign by playing Temple and new coach Geoff Collins, former Florida defensive coordinator, at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.

The CBS Sports Network has the UK-Southern Miss matchup at 4 p.m. from Hattiesburg. Dave Ryan, Corey Chavous and Melanie Collins comprise the broadcast team for the game.

Former Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm makes his Purdue debut against his alma mater when the former Western Kentucky coach takes on Bobby Petrino, Lamar Jackson and U of L. Fox has the 7:30 p.m. kickoff from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is home for the Advocare Texas Kickoff between BYU and LSU. ESPN has the 9:30 p.m. telecast.

Sunday night, No. 21 Virginia Tech meets No. 22 West Virginia in Landover, Maryland at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

Capping off the weekend, two days after Bama-FSU, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta plays host to No. 25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech.

Saturday, Sept. 2

▪ 12:00 - Akron at Penn State (ABC)

▪ 12:00 - Ball State at Illinois (Big 10 alternate)

▪ 12:00 - Bowling Green at Michigan State (ESPNU)

▪ 12:00 - Kent State at Clemson (ESPN)

▪ 12:00 - Maryland at Texas (Fox Sports 1)

▪ 12:00 - Missouri State at Missouri (SEC)

▪ 12:00 - Wyoming at Iowa (Big 10)

▪ 12:00 - Portland State at Oregon State (Pac-12)

▪ 12:30 - Bethune-Cookman at Miami (ACC)

▪ 3:00 - North Carolina State at South Carolina (ESPN)

▪ 3:30 - Florida vs. Michigan (ABC)

▪ 3:30 - Nevada at Northwestern (Big 10)

▪ 3:30 - Temple at Notre Dame (NBC)

▪ 3:30 - UTEP at Oklahoma (Fox)

▪ 3:45 - Troy at Boise State (ESPNU)

▪ 4:00 - Charleston Southern at Mississippi State (SEC)

▪ 4:00 - Kentucky at Southern Miss (CBS Sports)

▪ 5:15 - Western Michigan at USC (Pac-12)

▪ 6:15 - Appalachian State at Georgia (ESPN)

▪ 7:00 - Liberty at Baylor (Fox Sports 2)

▪ 7:30 - Georgia Southern at Auburn (SEC)

▪ 7:30 - Louisville vs. Purdue (Fox)

▪ 7:30 - South Alabama at Ole Miss (ESPNU)

▪ 8:00 - Alabama vs. Florida State (ABC)

▪ 8:00 - Arkansas State at Nebraska (Big 10)

▪ 8:00 - Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee (CBS Sports)

▪ 8:15 - Southern Utah at Oregon (Pac-12)

▪ 9:30 - BYU vs. LSU (ESPN)

▪ 10:30 - Montana State at Washington State (Fox Sports 1)

▪ 11:00 - Northern Arizona at Arizona (Pac-12)

Sunday, Sept. 3

▪ 7:30 - Texas A&M at UCLA (Fox)

▪ 7:30 - Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia (ABC)

Monday, Sept. 4

▪ 8:00 - Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee (ESPN)

Kentucky at Southern Miss

When: Saturday, Sept. 2

Where: M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, MS

Kickoff time: 4 p.m. ET

Television: CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan, Corey Chavous and Melanie Collins

Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro and Dick Gabriel

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